Aim: To evaluate the clinical outcome and the survival benefits of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) compared with supportive therapy.
Materials and methods: From January 1996 to April 2009, a total of 155 patients with unresectable ICC met the entry criteria and underwent TACE (72 patients) or supportive treatment (83 patients). Their survival was the primary end point.
Results: The baseline patients and tumour characteristics were well-balanced in the two groups. The median number of sessions per patient was 2.5 (range 1-17 sessions) in the TACE group. After TACE, the incidence of significant (≥ grade 3) haematological and non-haematological toxicities was 13 and 24%, respectively, and no patients died within 30 days following TACE. The objective tumour regression (≥ partial response) was achieved in 23% of the patients in the TACE group. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the survival period was significantly longer in the TACE group (median 12.2 months) than in the symptomatic treatment (median 3.3 months) group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: TACE is safe and offers greater survival benefits than supportive treatment for the palliative treatment of unresectable ICC.
Copyright © 2010 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.